It has always been about hearing Him

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day… “I heard Your voice in the garden.”  (Gen. 3:8-10)

Adam and Eve were created to hear the Father and learn from Him.  Sin brought fear and ignorance into Adam and Eve, and men have been living without the fellowship of the Lord that we were created to enjoy ever since.

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Mt. 4:4)

We were created to hear Him.  Apart from hearing God, life is more biological than spiritual.  Life isn’t life if there is no divine hearing.  There can be no life without His voice.

We are expected to hear Him.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (Jn. 10:27)

It should not be difficult to recognize the voice of God.  We were created to recognize His voice.  The problem lies in the distraction of so many other voices competing for our allegiance.

Jesus was limited in His ministry to what He heard from the Father.

“I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” (Jn. 8:28)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do;” (Jn. 5:19)

Whether we use the term “seeing” or “hearing”, we are speaking of the revelation of the Holy Spirit to our spirit.  If Jesus was limited to what He saw and heard, why do we think that we can live our lives as we wish and then have instant faith when it is needed?

The only way to walk in faith is to hear Him.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)

It has always been about hearing God.  It will always be about hearing God.  The victories we desire are wrapped up in hearing Him.  Our knowledge is not enough.  Knowledge was not enough for Adam and Eve in the Garden.  Knowledge killed them because they didn’t get it from His voice.

Determine to lay aside the mundane voices of the world and grow sensitive to the voice of God.  Therein is the victory and the abundant life you desire.

Barry Bennett

 

What is a Generational Curse?

How often have we heard Christians talking about the need to break generational curses?  Much of what has been taught on this subject borders on unbelief.  Believers that concentrate on curses do not understand the realities of the finished work of the cross.  People are not defeated in life due to being cursed as much as they are perishing due to their lack of knowledge of the Lord.

This is why Jesus said, “Go ye teaching” and did not say, “Go ye breaking curses.”  It is the Truth that sets us free, not some kind of mystical deliverance session.

Jesus has already been made a curse for us and has already blessed us (Gal. 3:13)!  And, what is more, God was in Christ, reconciling the whole world to Himself, not holding man’s trespasses against him (2 Cor. 5:19). God is not holding sins or curses against anyone!

What are commonly referred to as generational curses today are really nothing more than the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. (Gal. 5:19-21)

The manifestations of the flesh should not surprise us.  We are the product of our fallen society, culture, false religions, customs and morals taught us by our families, and tendencies we have learned from others.  If the parents were alcoholics there may be a tendency for the children to adopt the same behavior, but many children do not.  If anger and wrath were a part of the home environment, the same tendencies can be carried over to the children’s homes when they are adults, but in many cases those tendencies are rejected.

While some call these generational curses, we should see them as strongholds that must be torn down by the renewing of the mind.  It is the truth that sets us free.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2Co 10:4-5)

As born again sons and daughters of God, we are equipped to defeat the works of the flesh by the Spirit and cleanse our minds from the patterns of the past.  It is our willful choosing of God’s ways, words, thoughts and actions that will replace the strongholds we have known.  Over time, new patterns of the Spirit are established and we are able to walk free from the bondages of the past.

The Old Testament verses that refer to generational curses were spoken to Israel while under the Law, and referred to what would happen to those who hate Him (see Deut. 5:8-10).  What we can conclude by these verses is that God had made a statement concerning the consequences of sin upon succeeding generations “of them that hate me” under the Law.  This has nothing to do with new creation believers!

“Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”  (Col. 1:13)

There are no curses in the Kingdom of God.  Only promises that are “yes” and “amen!”

Barry Bennett

Is Legalism the Real Problem?

Daily I read posts from grace teachers and preachers attacking the Law and legalism.  I understand the enthusiasm to explore our relationship with God apart from law keeping, but is legalism really our problem?

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”  (James 1:14-15)

Lust is the problem.  Lust exists in all men whether they are under the Law or have never heard of the Law.  The Mosaic law doesn’t bring forth sin.  Lust brings forth sin.  The Law only served to strengthen and reveal sin.  It did not create it.

When Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses and took its penalty on Himself, the capacity to sin was not eliminated.  Sin continues in the human race as we all know.  Our own lusts are evidence that being free from the condemnation of the Law hasn’t freed us from the capacity to sin.  As Jesus said, the spirit (of man) is willing but the flesh is weak!

As born again Christians we are not only free from the Law of Moses (as a means of righteousness) we are free from the law of sin and death!

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”  (Rom. 8:2)

While we spend so much time focusing on ‘legalism’ as our enemy, it is really only the symptom of the real problem.  The real problem isn’t legalism.  The real problem is the flesh.  Being distracted by legalism and attacking legalism isn’t the answer.  The answer is to mortify the deeds of the body by the Spirit!

“For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.”  (Ro 8:13)

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.” (Gal. 5:17)

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”  (Gal. 5:24)

Rather than focus on the Law as our enemy (a subtle distraction), it is time to live by the Spirit and live above the lusts of the flesh.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  (Rom. 8:1)

Barry Bennett

More thoughts on the Word of God, the Bible.

Verses to consider when the Bible is being attacked as nothing more than the error ridden musings of old men who didn’t know what they were talking about.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  (Eph 6:17)

– How can you take the sword of the Spirit (the word of God) if it is not written?

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

– Where is this word that is quick and powerful?  Is it written?

Jesus prayed in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

– Why does Jesus refer to Your truth and Your word?  Isn’t He the Word and the Truth?  Could He be referring to the scriptures?

“…have you not read what was spoken to you by God?”  (Mt. 22:31)

– Jesus equated scripture with the voice of God.  The Bible is God’s living Word.

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began   26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith  (Rom. 16:25-26)

– God commanded that the gospel mystery be revealed by the scriptures in order to bring men to faith.

Paul used those same scriptures to persuade unbelievers about Jesus and the Kingdom.  “So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.” (Acts 28:23)

“thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” (Mark 7:13)

– Some are guilty of invalidating God’s Word.  Where is this Word?  Scripture?

“If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken).” (John 10:35)

– The Word of God is called Scripture and it cannot be broken.

“that…. you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.” (1 Cor. 4:6)

– Paul exhorts that we not go beyond that which is written.  He is referring to Old Testament scriptures.  Today it seems that there is almost a contest to see who can go the furthest from that which is written.

Barry Bennett